Wedding “Bells” Remembered

She finally arrived!

I went to Tanganyika as a single young man and had only dated Carol a few 57capcbtimes before I left the USA in 1956. I has proposed by mail, sent her $$$ to purchase the engagement ring and the president of the Philadelphia Bible Institute put it on her finger. Now, she’s was here.

Where? The Field Council assigned her to the KolaNdoto station, to live with her future in-laws (my parents!!), pending whatever happens. I was 70 miles away at the Kijima station. Application was made to the Field Council to get married – it was APPROVED!

Now for the wedding plans. A date was set and arraignments made. Other 58wedding-4missionaries volunteered to do a lot of the work and were very helpful. She had flown out from the USA bringing her wedding gown (borrowed) with her. I went to a local Asian tailor to get a proper “wedding suit” made up for me.

The day arrived. My chosen best man and I scouted around to try and find flowers – unfortunately the rains were late that year and nothing seemed to have bloomed. We even went together to the local cemetery with the hopes that someone had passed away and maybe we could find flowers on the grave. Nothing!

But the wedding had to go on. The bride carried a white Bible with a sprig of58wedding-2 artificial flowers draped from it. While waiting for the bride to enter the church, which was packed with African Christians, the best man and I (in a back room) looked over a basketball magazine – pretending calm!

It was over. Dr. Bill gave her away; Alan and Zakayo (an African pastor) performed the ceremony; the reception was over; we were ready to leave on the Lake Victoria steamer for our honeymoon.

My Volkswagen was parked out front, ready for the get-away. Some enterprising missionary had jacked up both rear wheels and set them on cement bricks as a trick – but he didn’t know that we had arraigned for someone else to drive us down to the Lake Victoria steamer. More fun!

So we were off. We had a lay-over in Kenya and the British immigration official was a bit concerned about “these missionaries traveling together but with passports that gave different last names”! Of course we hadn’t had time to get them changed (nor did we have a copy of the Wedding Certificate yet!) – the US Consulate was over 500 miles away from where we were married. But he approved visas and stamped both of the passports.

On to Ogada station in Kenya for an overnight. Back to the steamer to continue the trip around the lake – to Entebbe, Uganda, on to Bukoba in Tanzania (Tanganyika then) and on to Mwanza, out to Kahunda to the Kinzers – and on to 58 further years of ministry. Kijima, Salawe, KolaNdoto, Mwanza, Nassa, Mwanza, Nairobi, Bristol (England), Laurel Springs (NJ), Front Royal (VA) and now retirement here in Minneola Florida.

And, without reservation, the children (Beth, Janice, Donna and Mark), sons-65bejadomkknin-law, daughter-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and the many friends and coworkers who have been part of our lives. All these have been special BLESSINGS from our God!


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